Rebirth. Every year.
It is so miraculous!
In the north, spring brings welcome warm winds and sun on your cheeks. And shoots of early perennials leap from the earth. In March, I inspect our garden for the earliest signs of life. In April and May, I am signing the praises of fresh tender asparagus and using it any way I can think of.
Sure, you can buy it fresh in many markets through out the year. It is often expensive and I ignore it most of the time. Too often, it looks like tired little soldiers with droopy heads. The quality of super fresh asparagus is so superior that I buy it only when I can get it from local growers. In the spring, it is olive green with a crisp snap of the spear. Thick or thin stalks, which is better? It is a personal choice, I prefer thick. And for me, frozen and canned asparagus just do not measure up.
Asparagus is a dieter’s delight. It has less than 30 calories per cup! But it is rich in iron, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamins A, C, and K. And a 1-cup serving even has 3 grams of fiber. Serving roasted asparagus is such a treat you will not feel deprived in any way.
Simple Roasted Asparagus
So spring-y, so simple, so quick.
Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
Fresh asparagus spears, 5-7 per person
Olive or canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, trim the bottom end of the spears.
Arrange the spears in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with a bit of oil and rub it around the spears.
Roast for about 10 minutes. Season to taste.
Lemon punch- sprinkle fresh lemon juice and grate the zest over the top before serving.
Orange dream- drizzle thawed orange juice concentrate over the spears. Use calcium fortified OJ concentrate for a little boost of calcium.
Sweet tang- drizzle with good balsamic vinegar when the spears come out of the oven.
Crunchy and salty crust- top spears with grated parmesan before roasting.
Soft and creamy finish- about half way through roasting, top with crumbled goat cheese.
For even more texture and nutrition- top any of the above with chopped nuts.